(RNS) Time to pray? Check your cell phone.

A new form of electronic muezzin to call British Muslims to prayerhas been launched via the Internet.

Muslims are obliged to pray five times a day -- at sunrise, noon,mid-afternoon, sunset, and night -- and these times vary both with thechanging seasons and according to location. Traditionally Britishmosques have supplied members of their congregation with tables showingthe varying times of prayer for that locality.

For some time, Muslims have been able to buy a digital watch which, whenset for the particular locality, will beep at each of the five times ofprayer. The watches also include a prayer compass to show the directionof Mecca, which Muslims face while praying.

The new service is for those with cell phones with access to theInternet. The free service offers a text message that appears on thephone screen reminding them when it is time to pray.

It is run from Preston, England, by 31-year-old Bihal Patel and twoof his five sisters. The Website address is

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus